Today, I was signing in Thambi at the babysitting facility in the gym, and in the column marked for age of the child, I hesitated for a moment. Should I write 11 months as I have normally done for the past month, or should I write 1 year, since he has only some 24 hours left to go to officially turn 1? And that's when it hit me. That today is the very last day I will be writing that number. From tomorrow, I can boldly write '1 year' and that would be so very real for us. And as always, at that moment, I felt the complete urreality of time. How just some several hours separate a regular, routine day from a day worth remembering in all its eventfulness. And as always, that feeling of being right in the threshold of a new place in life. One foot, still firmly rooted to the present, and the other ready to take that first step into another beginning. And with Thambi's newly found mobility, it looks like that step will be made in a stumbling rush of excitement and thrill.
This time I am keeping up with him. I am not going to be left behind reminiscing endlessly of this time last year. I am going to chase the little guy for all he's worth and hear his gurgles of laughter in the thrill of the chase. Yes I am!
This past month has gone slowly enough. I feel like its been a long time ago that I compiled his 11th month update, and wrote the words...now the countdown is well and truly on! And now its just about over. And all in good time. It hasn't flown past, it hasn't whizzed by and I feel very much in keeping with time. Its a good feeling. A simple feeling.
As far as birthday celebrations go....we already rung in his first birthday in a simple and smashing way! His star birthday was last weekend, and we had a priest come home to do the ayushomam. That was on Sunday morning at 6:00 AM. It happened really fast and before we knew it, we were done with the ceremonies and eating the prasadam of sweet pongal. Thambi looked pure and delectable in a silk dhoti and all the gold ornaments. The sound of the anklets as he crawled around was pleasant and festive and made him extremely curious to try and trace the sound source. Winkie donned a lovely cotton kurta and sat with his father for a portion of the proceedings.
And the night before was special. We decided to keep things really simple and uncomplicated, so we asked a few of our best friends to come home and spend a bit of the evening with us. And just for fun, I designed a calendar for 2008 with all of Thambi's monthly pictures from newborn to 11 months. Alongwith that was an insert for a proper January calendar in which the 19th was highlighted, thus marking their calendars for them! It was 3 hours of homework! Foodwise, I didn't cook, and we catered some Indo chinese. Our amazing cake decorator, who is also a part-time dreamweaver, baked the most amazing looking cake aligned with our exact visualisation and made the evening memorable. The idea was to depict all the physical milestones of a baby from birth to a year, and that is what she did around the sides of the guava flavoured cake. A newborn Thambi, a rolling over Thambi, a crawling Thambi and a sitting Thambi. And on the very top and face of the cake, a 1 year old Thambi, holding onto the '1' and standing tall.
We indulged the kids in some light craftwork. One was where they decorated their very own party hats with colourful foam stickers. And in the other, I had drawn an outline of the number 1 on individual sheets of paper, and also cut out shapes of body parts that could be glued together to make a whole person. The idea was to mimic the picture on the top of the cake. The completed work would be a gift from all the little people to Thambi. I dare say, they had fun, and we had fun watching them. This was followed by the actual cutting of the cake, and right after we all sang for him, Thambi put his hands together and clapped! :) There he is, in his golden kurta suit.
As for tomorrow and what's in store. Well, I decided I'll stay home and just be with him. Enjoy his smiles and his little licks of kisses, watch him walk and practice his gait. Feed him his cereal and change his diaper. Put him down for a nap when he is well and truly tired and not a moment before, just because its about time he slept. Maybe I'll make some payasam and feed it to him. Maybe we'll all have some payasam in his name. We'll see how the day unfolds. With exactly 23 hours left to go till the moment of his birth, a renewed countdown is well and truly on! :)